Around the World Blog Hop

When the amazingly talented Tina Katwal of Holy Scrap! Invited me to participate in the “Around the World Blog Hop”, I immediately said yes! Tina can rightly be called one of the queen bees of quilting in India. I love the whackiness – the flash of genius – she brings to her work. Tina administers Desi Quilters, a great online group for Indian quilters across the world AND she also runs a lovely Bernina store in Chennai, The Square Inch, dedicated to crafts supplies, classes and what have you!

I am supposed to answer a few questions which will give you an idea of what I do and why, before I introduce you to the quilters who will take this chain forward! Let me warn you, I love to talk – so here we go!

What am I working on?

Well, on the sewing machine, actually and sadly, nothing for the last five weeks. I have been on enforced rest because of sciatica. When my doctor forbade me to sit, ( I am allowed to stand or lie down – neither being conducive to sewing!) I had just finished this quilt for my son and daughter in law for their first wedding anniversary. The Oh, Fransson! Mod Mosaic pattern blocks were made by members of my online quilting bee.

92″ x92″ quilt using Mod Mosaic blocks (Elizabeth Hartmann)

A closer look at the Mod Mosaic blocks

,,,and had been working on this stash buster apple core quilt…

A Fons and Porter design for an Apple Core Quilt

But you can’t keep a quilter away from her quilts can you? So I have been spending my time reading some wonderful blogs, drooling over some lovely quilts on pinterest and flickr and adding to my about-to-explode list of must-make quilts!

Okay, but I have also been doing some work – a lot of fine tuning of designs and fresh designing too. Beginning July 2014, I am hosting a free Block of the Month quilt on my blog, Round the Year. I am doing the quilt in two colourways – four blocks are already up!

Round the Year Quilt Block 1 Dahlia

Round the Year Quilt Block 2 Evening at the Pond

Round the Year Quilt Block 3 Card Trick

That was the Dusk colourway, and here is the Rainbow.

Round the Year Quilt Block 2 Evening at the Pond

Round the Year Quilt Block 4 Sapphire

 

I decided to utilize my time away from the sewing machine to try various quilt layouts on Quilt Assistant, a great free quilt design software.

I am currently also drafting foundation paper piecing templates for the Nearly Insane Quilt, which is next on my list of to-do-quilts, as soon as I can get some half a dozen UFOs out of the way! Like this Just Takes-2 2012 quilt top, lying ready to be basted and quilted, for over a year and a half now!

Just Takes 2 2012 – Quilt Top “Monsoon Evening”

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Does it? I don’t really know! Let me try to list what I feel defines my `style’ :

  • I like working with strong, striking colours.
  • I love the beauty and symmetry of traditional quilt block patterns, but I like to put my own twist on them.
  • I am fascinated by blocks which make secondary and tertiary patterns, besides tessellations. Favourites – winding ways, kaleidoscopes…
  • I also like patterns, designs and techniques that challenge me – which teach me something new every time.
  • I don’t think I can make a quilt where I would be required to piece the same block again and again and again! It would bore me to tears! This is probably the reason I like to make small quilts. Here are my experiments with the wedding ring and cathedral window blocks!

    Mug Rug for a wedding anniversary gift

    Cathedral Windows in a small table runner

  • These days, I have come to be captivated by the design element in `modern’ quilts. I find myself incorporating negative space in my quilt designs – also because I wish to practice free motion quilting, which I have embarked upon recently. I do not have access to modern fabrics and am not sure if I would use them in my quilts if I did.
  • I hate slipshod, untidy work! My points must match ‘just so’! So Jack, the Ripper, is my closest friend when I sew.

Why do I write/create what I do?

Because.

I am. Therefore I create. I create. Therefore, I am.

Like the blurb on my blog states , “This and that, some rhyme, not all reason. I don’t think I could live if I did not create every day of my life – paint, write poetry, embroider, design or quilt.

How does my writing/creating process work?

Design Process – calculations galore!

I have been enjoying doing my own designing for the last two years or so. My creating process is usually triggered by something – it could be a quilt or a quilt block or a quilt technique which I wish to master, a fabric, a picture or even a poem, The process takes over my being and I cannot sleep until I have worked out the design and then the process in my mind. I get up in the morning and put down on paper what I have visualized. Here are a few of my `original’ quilts…

For my sewing area, the `Hippie Happy’ quilt… I tried a lot many techniques here, for the first time.

The Hippie Happy Quilt – Peace, Soul and Tranquility!

 

…a small quilt “Winter of Hope” inspired by a poem…

“Cruel harsh winter, Ablaze with flowers of hope. Summer’s in my heart.”

Another one inspired by a fabric and a desire to try out prairie points…kantha style quilting here…

Trapunto and 3 dimensional flowers and leaves to bring alive the fabric print…

The Octopus’s Garden came into being, inspired by the presence in my stash of the perfect ocean themed fabric for the convergence technique  and the delicious fossil fern fabric for the Octopus…

I’d like to be, under the sea…

Here is a panel from a counting quilt inspired by the most beautiful little girl, born to a favourite niece!

Seven kites, eight clouds, nine stars – all in in silk and satin!

And finally, pictures of a quilt inspired by a wedding in the family, coinciding with the Husqvarna Viking India quilt challenge. In this quilt, I loved bringing alive the magic of the winding ways block, sewn together to represent the sacred fire which forms an essential part of the Hindu wedding ritual.

The Saptapadi Quilt won me a Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machine ! This is the sacred fire circumambulated by the couple during the wedding ceremony.

The pieced back of the Saptapadi quilt

If you look closely, you can possibly see the quilted footprints which give the quilt its name Saptapadi (Seven steps taken by the bridal couple while enunciating their wedding vows)

Thank you for visiting my blog. Hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! Before I sign off, I must introduce you to my tag-ees for the next week.

The first is the beautiful, multi-talented Brinda Crishna, whose signature style is traditional Indian fabric and hand quilting! She embroiders; she crochets, amongst other things, the most delightful little animals for her lovely grand children; she does water colours, and maintains the most fascinating hand written journal with her lovely sketches of everyday happenings. I do hope she will share some of this other stuff with you too; don’t forget to head to her blog http://embroideringmytale.blogspot.in/ next Monday, 13th October, 2014.

My other tag-ee is Sobana Sundar, at her blog http://thequiltbug.blogspot.in/. Sobana lives on a self sufficient farm, growing her own vegetables and fruit, besides gorgeous water lilies (which she has immortalized in a pretty little quilt!). She loves embroidery, especially cross stitch, besides of course, quilting! She was more of a traditional quilter till very recently, but is becoming decidedly more adventurous now! She too will be sharing with you what makes her (quilting) tick, on 13th October, next Monday.

The third quilter I am tagging is also from India, the gorgeous Elvira Threeyama! Her trademark is a great choice of fabric and the neatest, crispest finish you would see on anything that went under a needle – whether a quilt, or a wallet, pouch, bag, tote or even a skirt or a pair of trousers! She blogs at http://chez-vies.blogspot.in. I hope you will check her great sewing and quilting next Monday!

 

Keep quilting and dreaming of quilts!

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6 thoughts on “Around the World Blog Hop

  1. Ah a chance to have another look at your creationṣ Who would not want to Madhu! As usual well-written and you have me intrigued by the ‘nearly insane’ quilṭ

  2. I love the pretty blues and greens you’ve used in your beautiful OCTOPUS’S GARDEN quilt! Gosh! Wouldn’t John Lennon have been tickled, if he knew how his lovely song, created waves of sheer creativity in the mind, and magic in the fingers of some of his listeners…..like yourself!

  3. your quits are work of arts Madhu! Even my 11 yo son said so. He loved your hippie happy quilt and could not believe it when I said it’s a quilt. He said why I didn’t make something like that. and Thanks for tagging me, now I am nervous about what to write next Monday lol..

    • Thank you, Elvira and your son too 🙂 I love your work – you are so perfect in your finishes and choice of fabric! Don’t worry, you’ll do great – just be yourself!

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